NEWSLETTER AND LEGAL UPDATES: FALL 2011
SUCCESS BASED ON LONG LASTING
RELATIONSHIPS FORGED IN INTEGRITY,
EXCELLENCE, COMMITMENT AND TEAMWORK.
Fanning Harper Martinson Brandt & Kutchin, P.C. is pleased to provide you with our Fall 2011 Newsletter and Legal Update. Below you will find information regarding successes and activities of our attorneys.
Please click the hyperlinks for updates regarding Constitutional/Civil Rights, Local Government, Products Liability, Employment Law, School Law, Commercial Trucking Litigation, Premises Liability, Zoning, Land Use and Taking, and Insurance Law. Please call us with your questions or comments.
VICTORIES AND HONORS
FHMBK OBTAINS SIGNIFICANT VICTORY IN FAMOUS “CANDY CANE” CASE
FHMBK attorneys Thomas P. Brandt, Joshua Skinner and David Upham obtained a significant victory before the entire assembled United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in the famous “Candy Cane” case – a case involving issues of qualified immunity and free speech in elementary schools. Lead counsel Thomas P. Brandt successfully argued the case against two former solicitor generals of the U.S.: Ken Starr, currently the president of Baylor University and Paul Clement. The Fifth Circuit Court agreed that the two elementary school principals represented by FHMBK were entitled to qualified immunity from Plaintiffs’ claims. Click here to ready the entire opinion.
FHMBK ATTORNEY NAMED TEXAS LAWYER’S APPELLATE LAWYER OF THE WEEK
As a result of the victory in the “Candy Cane” case, FHMBK attorney Thomas Brandt was named “Appellate Lawyer of the Week” by Texas Lawyer. To read the article naming Mr. Brandt as “Appellate Lawyer of the Week”, click here.
DISTRICT COURT VICTORIES
Thomas Brandt and John Roehm successfully represented a sheriff who was sued by a detention officer for violation of the Title VII, age and sex discrimination, and the Texas Labor Code. A motion to dismiss the sheriff was granted by the Court.
Thomas Brandt and John Roehm successfully represented a North Texas city which was sued by the railroad for a taking – i.e. destruction of personal property. The city filed a Plea to the Jurisdiction which was granted and the city was dismissed from the suit.
Marc Fanning won five Motions for Summary Judgment for his clients over the last six months. These favorable decisions were based on “no evidence” on the liability issues in slip and fall cases for a well known grocery store chain which has stores in both Tarrant and Dallas Counties.
Thomas Brandt and John Roehm successful defended several North Texas City Council members and City officials who were sued for allegedly acting without legal authority when an amended gas well permit was issued. A plea to the jurisdiction was filed on the grounds of lack of standing and immunity. The court granted the plea and dismissed the claims against these defendants.
Joshua Skinner successfully represented a Central Texas County Commissioner who was sued for malicious prosecution and defamation. The suit arose out of a heated dispute involving flooding of the plaintiff’s property. The plaintiff was arrested and charged with retaliation for allegedly threatening to shoot the County Commissioner. After he was found not guilty of the criminal charges, Plaintiff sued the County Commissioner. The court granted the County Commissioner’s motion to dismiss pursuant to section 101.106 of the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code.
HONORS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS
- Don Martinson and Thomas Brandt each celebrated significant milestones in their careers having earned and maintained for 25 years and 10 years, respectively, the AV Preeminent Rating from Martindale-Hubbell. The AV Preeminent Rating is the highest possible rating for both legal ability and ethical standards. It is described by Martindale-Hubbell as the pinnacle of professional excellence earned through a strenuous Peer Review Rating process.
- Directors Don Martinson, Thomas Brandt and Joshua Kutchin have once again been named as SuperLawyers by Texas Monthly.
- FHMBK was a proud sponsor of this year’s annual Red Mass. The purpose of the Red Mass is to pray for divine assistance to everyone who is involved in the legal profession. The Red Mass is held each year on the Sunday preceding the September 1st opening of our Texas courts. The Red Mass is organized each year by the St. Thomas More Society of Dallas. FHMBK attorney Ellen Dorn serves as president of the Society and FHMBK attorney Thomas Brandt serves as a director.
- FHMBK was the proud sponsor of a table at the Arlington Police Foundation luncheon held September 13, 2011 to honor the victims and heroes of the 9/11 tragedy. FHMBK attorneys Thomas Brandt, John Roehm and Joshua Skinner attended this inspiring event.
- FHMBK attorneys Thomas Brandt, Joshua Skinner, and Frank Valenzuela were chosen to make a presentation to the Texas Association of School Administrators/ Texas Association of School Boards 2011 Convention at the Austin Convention Center. The title of their presentation was “Religion in Schools”. School officials from all over Texas attended and asked pressing questions about relevant issues in their own school districts. A copy of the paper that accompanied the presentation may be found by clicking here.
To find out more about these attorneys, or more about our firm, please visit our website at www.fhmbk.com.
This newsletter is established for informational purposes only. Nothing in this newsletter should be construed as individual advice, and the use of the e-mail link for communications with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship.